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2020 Belmont Fall Meet to Kick Off on September 18

The meet will feature 38 stakes races and once again be run without fans in stands.

The Belmont Park fall meet begins on September 18 and will feature 38 stakes races. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

With nearly three weeks left in the spectator-less Saratoga Race Course season, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) is already announcing plans for its 27-day fall meet at Belmont Park. The stretch of racing, which begins on Friday, September 18 and runs through Sunday, November 1, will feature 38 stakes races to the tune of $5.58 million in purse money.

Following opening weekend, live spectator-less racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday, except on Columbus Day weekend, when live racing will be offered on Monday, October 12 and return on Friday, October 16. (Prior to the opening of the meet, NYRA will issue updated guidance regarding COVID-19 health and safety protocols for jockeys, trainers and owners.)

The Belmont fall meet traditionally begins on the Friday following Labor Day—in other words, just days after the close of the Saratoga summer meet. But due to the continued COVID-19 crisis, NYRA has added a one-week break in between the two meets.

“This new fall schedule is the result of a collaborative effort between NYRA, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders to modify our racing calendar in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the industry,” said NYRA President and CEO David O’Rourke. “I’d like to thank the horsemen and breeders for their common-sense approach to solving the challenges brought about by this unprecedented public health crisis.”

Belmont’s fall meet features 22 graded stakes races, including seven Grade 1 stakes and seven Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifiers for the two-day Breeders’ Cup 2020 World Championships to be held November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course.

Below, find the full stakes schedule, with Breeders’ Cup “Win and Your In” qualifiers denoted with a “BC” next to each race:

Friday, September 18
$80,000 Miner’s Mark

Saturday, September 19
Grade 1, $250,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational

Saturday, September 26
Grade 2, $150,000 Vosburgh (BC)
Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel

Thursday, October 1
$100,000 Joseph A. Gimma

Friday, October 2
$100,000 Bertram F. Bongard

Saturday, October 3
Grade 1, $250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational (BC)
Grade 1, $250,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom
Grade 2, $150,000 Kelso
Grade 2, $150,000 Pilgrim

Sunday, October 4
Grade 3, $100,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational
Grade 2, $150,000 Beldame
Grade 2, $150,000 Miss Grillo

Saturday, October 10
Grade 1, $250,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (BC)
Grade 1, $250,000 Champagne (BC)
Grade 1, $250,000 Flower Bowl (BC)
Grade 1, $250,000 Frizette (BC)
Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point

Sunday, October 11
Grade 3, $100,000 Matron
Grade 3, $100,000 Futurity (BC)

Monday, October 12
Grade 2, $150,000 Knickerbocker
Grade 2, $150,000 Hill Prince

Saturday, October 17
$80,000 Floral Park

Saturday, October 24
$175,000 Empire Classic
$175,000 Empire Distaff
$150,000 Sleepy Hollow
$150,000 Maid of the Mist
$150,000 Mohawk
$150,000 Ticonderoga
$125,000 Iroquois
$125,000 Hudson

Sunday, October 25
Grade 3, $100,000 Athenia III

Saturday, October 31
Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler
$80,000 Zagora
$80,000 Awad 80,000

Sunday, November 1
$80,000 Pumpkin Pie
$80,000 Chelsey Flower

Avatar
Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.

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